Defibrillators May Not Help Kidney Patients With Bad Hearts

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People with chronic kidney disease often develop heart failure, leading to their having a heart defibrillator implanted to control an irregular heartbeat.

But that’s not without risk, a new study has found.

The chances of being hospitalized for heart failure were 49 percent greater for kidney disease patients with an implanted defibrillator than for those who did not have the device, according to the study by researchers from Kaiser Permanente and the University of Washington.

Hospitalization for any reason was 25 percent higher for those with the defibrillator, compared with those without it.

“The finding surprised us,” said lead author Dr. Nisha Bansal, from the university’s Kidney Research Institute.

In addition, the study found essentially no difference in death rates among the study participants who did and did not have an implanted defibrillator.

“Chronic kidney disease is common in adults with heart failure, and is associated with a greater risk of heart attack,” Bansal said in a Kaiser Permanente news release.

“However, in this observational study, we did not find a significant overall benefit from ICDs [implanted cardioverter defibrillators] for patients with kidney disease,” she said.

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SOURCE: Kaiser Permanente, news release, Feb. 5, 2018

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